Why Agile Is Great for Outsourced Software Projects

In the changing market conditions, software products need to be delivered faster than ever before, while the delivery teams should be flexible enough to meet the evolving needs. Since the demand for innovative products has increased, more IT and non-IT businesses have been opting for the Agile methodology to handle their software development projects. According to Gartner’s survey, 59% of businesses that have adopted the Agile approach report the enhanced ability to manage changed priorities and 58% point out accelerated product delivery.

It may seem that these two practices are completely different from one another but in this  article, we’ll unveil this popular myth.

What Is Outsourced Software Development?

It’s a common practice for non-technical companies to transfer software development to third-party technology experts. Outsourcing software development allows them to quickly get access to the IT expertise and create high-quality software solutions with no need to set up an in-house team. Outsourcing mobile, desktop, or web app development services is also beneficial for technical companies, helping them to scale their teams easily and allowing them to focus on business development.  

Software Development Outsourcing Models

IT services providers like a software outsourcing company SCAND are flexible about engagement models they offer to customers. Typical software development outsourcing models include a project-based model, IT staff augmentation, and a dedicated team. Let’s identify how they are different, and when they are used.

With a project-based model, the company  entrusts its app development project to an outsourcing company. The project-based model is paid according to two approaches, including fix bid and time and material. The former is best for projects with clear requirements that can’t be changed, while the latter is better for projects with no predefined requirements and come up with changes during the development life cycle.

IT staff augmentation stands for expanding in-house IT departments with narrowly focused specialists. With this model, businesses can quickly scale their team with the expertise they lack and keep on controlling the project delivery themselves.

A dedicated development team works full-time on the client’s project. The approach is great for projects that require long-term involvement and a deep understanding of business processes. 

Why Use Agile Methodology?

The Agile Manifesto identifies its top priority as an ability “to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.” Being combined wisely with outsourcing practices, Agile can bring much value to customers, including:

  • Faster product delivery. Regular planning and fixed sprints allow outsourcing development teams to ensure product’s faster time to market.
  • Flexibility. The Agile methodology provides flexibility when it comes to project changes, allowing the team to refine the product based on the backlog.
  • Better quality. Being split into short sprints, the product can be tested at each iteration to debug inconsistencies.

One of the Agile principles states, “business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project”. When it comes to outsourcing software development, customers typically deal with offshore development teams, so applying Agile practices to outsourcing teams is possible but requires effort on both ends.

Ways Outsourced Projects Can Benefit From Agile

Communication

Agile and continuous communication are the two concepts that go together. In the times when remote work is on the rise, outsourcing companies pay special attention to adopting Agile-based close communication to the new WFH (Work From Home) reality.

To work successfully Agile-based projects require smooth communication between a client and an offshore development team. The stakeholders need to establish transparent communication channels to stay up-to-date about the latest changes. It’s crucial to use multiple tools and platforms for daily scrums, sprint meetings, email correspondence, etc.

Availability

Being Agile means working in close collaboration with your team members. With a distributed team, it may be challenging to stay in touch. Thus, both an outsourcing Agile team and their clients need to be sure they reach their peers when required.

When working with outsourcing Agile teams, you need to define their response time. In case any team member can’t be available during particular hours, it should be transparently announced in advance and blocked in the calendar shared with the rest of the team. 

Project Planning and Assessment

Since an Agile software development project is divided into short sprints, it’s easier to test and debug the product. During remote work times, it’s essential to set up goals clearly and provide transparent access to the whole project picture so that the product is delivered within the scheduled time frame.

It’s vital to define a contact point such as project lead or scrum master that will represent the client in the offshore development team. Using task management and team collaboration tools is also useful for effective communication with an Agile team. Such tools as Jira, Trello, Confluence, etc. are helpful to clarify tasks for all team members and ensure real-time access to the project documentation.

How to Choose a Software Development Vendor?

When selecting an outsourcing provider, you don’t only choose a software development firm with specific technical expertise but also based on their Agile familiarity and practices. When evaluating an Agile outsourcing vendor, you should focus your attention on the criteria below:

  • Communication culture. Choose an Agile development company with established communication processes. For instance, be sure they strive to understand your business needs and clarify all the departments through additional calls or meetings.
  • Transparency. Find out how the outsourcing provider typically reports on the project’s progress. It’s crucial to have access to an up-to-date picture of your project.
  • Agile practices. Check if the company has established effective Agile processes while working with their clients. To find out about them, look through the references and testimonials on review sites like Clutch. 

Conclusion

Agile and outsourcing services can work efficiently together if thoroughly applied. During the COVID-19 lockdown, most reliable outsourcing providers have already proved their abilities to establish Agile processes for teams that work remotely. By employing technology solutions for open communication, they managed to overcome a physical distance and ensure transparent product delivery to their clients. That’s why, for customers, it’s vital to find a trustworthy Agile software development outsourcing provider.

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